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SNEHA strides ahead with strengthening Public Health systems

May 23 2019 / Posted in Maternal health

-By Dr. Harvinder Palaha, MD (Pediatrics),
Programme Director, Maternal and Newborn Programme, SNEHA, Mumbai

The Maternal and Newborn Health (MNH) programme at SNEHA works in seven Municipal Corporations
[Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC), Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC), Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC), Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation (BNMC), Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) and Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC)].

In its endeavour to strengthen public health systems, MNH has established a structured referral system for high-risk pregnant mothers. Their detailed data is maintained and analysed by the MNH team and is presented during the quarterly referral meetings. Dr. Shanti Pantvaidya, Executive Director, SNEHA, is the brain behind this referral strengthening which has helped thousands of high-risk pregnant mothers and helped reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity.

Apart from referral system, MNH conducts regular training for public health staff including Health Post MOs, nurses and residents of maternity homes and peripheral hospitals. The topics of these trainings include care of antenatal mothers, examination and care of newborns, care of low birth weight babies, management of obstetric emergencies and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit protocols.

A symposium on ‘Optimising maternal and neonatal outcome in resource constrained settings’ was organised in January, this year, with eminent speakers such as Dr. Armida Fernandez (Ex. Dean and HOD Neonatology, Sion Hospital and founder or SNEHA) and Dr. Nandanwar (Ex. HOD Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sion Hospital and HOD Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, D.Y. Patil Medical College and Hospital). This also helped further our efforts of strengthening health posts, maternity homes and peripheral hospitals along with maternal and neonatal outcome.

The team is also committed to upgrade the health facilities for providing better care to mothers and newborns. Under the aegis of funding by Cipla Foundation, MNH has donated the following equipment for health facilities viz:

1. Radiant baby warmer, Double Surface Phototherapy unit, Syringe Infusion Pump and Multipara Monitor at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital, Bhiwandi

2. Double surface phototherapy, radiant warmer and foetal monitor at Central Hospital, Ulhasnagar

3. Foetal monitor at Thane Civil Hospital

4. Bubble CPAP at Tulinj Hospital, Vasai-Virar

These equipment have enhance the standard of newborn care in these health facilities and have enabled health care providers to deal with complicated pregnancies and sick newborns more efficiently.

Nearly 2000 patients have availed these services in just four months!